Teachers should be priority groups for vaccine, WHO says

Teachers and school staff should be among the priority groups for vaccination against Covid-19, the European directorates of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Unicef ​​said on Monday.

We should “offer the vaccine against Covid-19 to teachers and other school staff as a target group of national vaccination plans,” wrote the UN institutions in a statement, calling on member states to put in place a vaccination strategy intended to maintain face-to-face teaching.

“Vital” that schools remain open

This priority, which had already been mentioned in November 2020 by a group of experts (the SAGE) of the WHO, must intervene while guaranteeing the vaccination of the most vulnerable, they specified. At a time when European students return to school after the summer holidays, it is “vital” that schools remain open despite the prevalence of the delta variant, which is more contagious.

“This is vitally important for children’s education, mental health and social skills, for schools to help empower our children to be happy and productive members of society,” said in the press release the director for Europe of the WHO, Hans Kluge. “The pandemic has caused the most catastrophic disruption in the history of education,” he said.

Improve the school environment

To keep schools open, WHO Europe and the UNICEF office for Europe and Central Asia are calling for immunization of children over 12 with co-morbidities and improving the school environment (ventilation, physical distancing, regular screening of students and supervisory staff).

According to the recommendations published in early July, the tests “should be carried out as a priority on children with symptoms” when they belong to a group at risk.

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